No matter if you are an undergrad or a postgrad mechanical engineering student, you need a laptop that can handle the required and relevant engineering software.
Some of the famous software that mechanical engineering students tend use are SolidWorks, AutoCad, Rivet, Alibre, Mathematica etc. There is one thing common with all these software, they are highly demanding.
These software eat the processing power and RAM. The more complicated your designs get, the more power these software need.
Here we will look at the best laptops for mechanical engineering students in school. We also target various price ranges. Depending upon your level of work and your budget you can choose the right laptop for yourself.
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Intel Core i5-8250U
256 GB SSD
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
256 GB SSD
Intel Core i3-8130U
1 TB HDD
AMD Ryzen R7 3750H
256 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD
NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti
Intel Core i7-87550U
512 GB SSD
NVIDIA Quadro P500
List of Best Laptops for Mechanical Engineering Students
Here we will talk about the best laptops in each price category. We will look at budget, mid range, high performance as well as mobile workstation grade notebooks.
- 1Acer Aspire E5-576G-5762 – 15.6″ – Mid Range – Best Laptop for Mechanical Engineering Students
- 2HP Envy X360 – 15.6″ – Mid Range All in One Portable Laptop
- 3Acer Aspire E5-576-392H – 15.6″ – Budget Option
- 4ASUS TUF505DU-EB74 – 15.6″ – High Performance – Gaming
- 5Lenovo ThinkPad P52s – 15.6″ – Mobile Workstation
Let us look in to what makes these laptops so special for mechanical engineering students.
1. Acer Aspire E5-576G-5762 – 15.6″ – Mid Range – Our Top Pick
- 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U Processor...
- 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen...
- 8GB Dual Channel Memory & 256GB SSD
- Up to 15-hours of battery life.Adapter: 65 W
If you are an undergraduate mechanical engineering student whose coursework revolves around creating mechanical drawings, then this is a great affordable machine.
This is basically a one time purchase that should be able to handle the basic course work related drawings.
However, for more advanced work such creating a complicated thesis for your FYP related to mechanical design, this may not really be sufficient.
The laptop offers a decent Intel Core i5-8250U Processor. This is a power efficient quad core processor with hyper threading enabled. Therefore, it has a total of 8 threads. The more threads you have, the better would be the multitasking experience.
Furthermore, Acer Aspire E5-576G-5762 offers 8 GB of RAM. Again this is quite adequate for most undergraduate level work.
However, once you get into advanced levels of work that require a lot of 3D rendering, you may need to upgrade the RAM.
One of the sweetest feature about this laptop is that it ditches an HDD for a 256 GB SSD.
SSD can certainly boost the performance of the entire machine. Unfortunately, the storage capacity is limited. Therefore, you may need to invest in an external HDD if you have huge collection of multimedia.
The laptop offers a beautiful 15.6″ FHD IPS display. IPS display is great for color reproduction. This may come in handy when creating 3D designs.
All in all, if you are looking for a well rounded and affordable option, then this is one of the best laptops for mechanical engineering students.
2. HP Envy X360 – 15.6″ – Mid Range All in One Portable Laptop
- AMD Ryzen 5 2500U: AMD Quad-Core Ryzen 5...
- Expanded Storage: 8GB 2400MHz DDR4 SDRAM,...
- HP Envy X360 15: 15.6" Full HD ( 1920 x 1080...
- External Ports: 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 2 x USB...
HP Envy X360 is another mid range laptop that is great for mechanical engineers.
For starters, this laptop is gorgeous as well as highly portable thanks to its slim design profile.
Secondly, it is a convertible machine. Therefore, the 15.6″ screen can turn on its hinges to become a Tablet.
The tablet mode is specially worth it for mechanical engineers who draw a lot. If you invest in a Digital Pen, you can turn this into a studio laptop for creating designs with a digital pen.
As far as the performance goes, this laptop is pretty similar to the Acer Aspire E5-576G-5762 above.
However, instead of offering an Intel Core i5-8250U processor, this laptop offers the AMD Quad Core Ryzen 5-2500U processor. They both are pretty similar in performance. However, the AMD Ryzen 5 has an edge with its integrated graphics card.
Ryzen 5 features Radeon Vega 8 integrated graphics. While it is still an entry level card, it can support famous gaming titles such as League of Legends, Counter Strike Go etc at low – medium graphics.
Other than that, it offers the same 8 GB of DDR 4 RAM and a good 256 GB of SSD just like the Acer Aspire E5-576G-5762 above.
The only drawback in comparison to the Acer above is that it is fairly more expensive. Whether the convertible feature and the portable design is worth the extra cash is for your to decide.
Generally, if you walk around the campus often, a portable machine is worth the investment. However, portability has absolutely no effect on how the laptop would perform on Mechanical Engineering software.
In the end, HP Envy X360 is a beautiful mid range convertible laptop and we recommend this as one of the best laptops for mechanical engineering students who prefer portability.
3. Acer Aspire E5-576-392H – 15.6″ – Budget Option
- 8th Generation Intel Core i3 8130U Processor...
- 15.6 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen...
- 6GB Dual Channel Memory, 1TB HDD and 8x DVD
- Up to 13.5 Hours of battery life
If you are on a tight budget, or if your mechanical engineering work isn’t too demanding, this is the least powerful budget laptop that we would recommend.
This is an exceptional laptop that offers the Intel Core i3-8130U processor at a very affordable price tag.
Normally we do not recommend Core i3s for work that involves professional software, however, this is an exception since the Core i3s of the 8th generation are comparable in performance to the Core i5s of the previous generation.
Yet you should still take note of the fact that is laptop is not designed for heavy loads. It only has a very limited capacity to run CAD software and on larger files/designs, it will get frustratingly slow.
For beginners though, this is an excellent laptop. Besides the fairly well rounded processor, it offers a decent 6 GB of RAM as well as 1 TB of HDD.
Since this is a basic laptop for mechanical engineers, 6 GB is quite adequate. You CAN upgrade the RAM but be mindful of the fact that an unusually high amount of RAM can get bottle necked by the slower processor.
While this laptop isn’t the most aesthetically appealing out there, it offers a battery life that puts high end laptops to shame. On lighter use, this laptop can last for 13.5 hours on a single charge.
Taking all things into consideration, this is one of the best laptops for mechanical engineering students who are tight on budget and for those who do not foresee a highly demanding designing work.
You may also like laptops for simple word processing.
4. ASUS TUF505DU-EB74 – 15.6″ – High Performance – Gaming
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB graphics...
- Quad core AMD Ryzen 7 3750H Processor....
- 15.6” full HD (1920x1080) 120Hz IPS type...
- 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD | 16GB DDR4 RAM...
This is a gaming laptop, so naturally, it would be quite expensive.
However, within the high performance category, this is one of the most well priced laptops out there.
Gaming laptops generally tend to perform very well in Engineering environments. They offer some of the best hardware there is.
Most of the 3D designing mechanical engineering software do need a fairly good graphics card. In fact, for 3D modeling on large levels, a graphics card is a basic requirement for software like AutoCad and SolidWorks.
ASUS TUF505DU-EB74 does not utilize the Intel processors. Instead, it uses one of the latest Quad Core AMD Ryzen R7-3750H processor. In terms of performance, it is more powerful than the Intel Core i7-8550U but much slower than the Core i7-8750H hexa core processor.
Basically, this is a high end processor that has the capacity to handle all mechanical engineer software that you will ever use in your time at the university not just as an undergraduate, but also well into your postgraduate studies.
One of the best features about this laptop is that offers the latest Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Graphics card.
This graphics card has performance factor much better than the GTX 1060 and is fairly close in performance to the GTX 1070. To get the performance of GTX 1070 at this price tag is fairly worth it. The Gamer in you would certainly vouch for this card.
Besides that, this laptop offers 256 GB of SSD and 1 TB of HDD. This is a decent storage combination and something that you would expect from a laptop of this price category.
To top this all up, this laptop also features a high end display. The display is Full HD with 120 Hz refresh rate. Normal laptops have a refresh rate of 60 Hz. The higher refresh rate means that your gaming experience will be smoother.
Lastly, this laptop isn’t called TUF for no reason. It offers Military standard durable construction (MIL-STD-810). This is exactly what a rugged field of mechanical engineering demands.
All in all, if you want a complete package for a laptop that is powerful and can last for years to come, then this is one of the best laptops for mechanical engineering students.
5. Lenovo ThinkPad P52s – 15.6″ – Mobile Workstation
- 8th Generation Kaby Lake R Intel Core...
- 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Technology...
- 32GB DDR4 Memory, Built-in HD webcam,...
- 512GB SSD (Solid State Drive), 1 x...
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s is a mobile workstation. Therefore, it does not perform the same function as conventional laptops.
This is a laptop that is specifically designed for 3D designing, scientific calculation that need floating point operations etc. Why is it so specialized?
This notebook utilizes a specialized graphics card from the NVIDIA Quadro Series. Specifically, it uses the NVIDIA Quadro P500 graphics card. While these graphics card may not be great for gaming like the GeForce series, they are excellent for simulation, 3d modeling, designing and rendering.
Therefore, if you are a postgraduate working on a very complicated and technical research paper that requires complex computing, then you need a mobile workstation such as this laptop.
Other than that, it offers a decent overall hardware including Intel Core i7-87550U quad core processor, 32 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD drive.
So if you need a laptop for scientific operations, or professional grade 3D designs, then this is one of the best laptops for mechanical engineering students. In fact, it is also one of the cheapest mobile workstations in the market.
You may also be interested in learning about work laptops.
Here we looked at the best laptops for mechanical engineering students from various price brackets. Some are great for undergraduate students while others are powerful enough for postgraduate level scientific research work.
Basically, a mechanical engineering laptop requires not just a powerful processor and a high RAM capacity, but also a fairly well rounded graphics card especially if you are dealing with 3D modelling.
This is in contrast to electrical engineering laptops that do not really require a graphics card since electrical drawings are generally 2D single line diagrams instead of 3D models.
Andrew White is the founder of TechGearoid, a leading technology review & information website that is designed to help consumers make better decisions when it comes to their IT purchases. As a specialist tech writer (nerd) with over 10 years of experience, he enjoys writing about everything there is to do with modern technology & the newest market innovations. When he isn’t providing value for his readers, he’s usually drinking coffee or at the beach. Andrew lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and family.